Ahead of Punjab elections, 'The Great Khali' joins BJP
Former wrestler Dalip Singh Rana, famously known by his ring name "The Great Khali," joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday in Delhi. Khali said he feels Prime Minister Narendra Modi's work makes the latter a right fit for India. "I thought why not be a part of his governance for the nation's development," he said, "I'm glad to have joined the BJP."
Why does this story matter?
The development comes just a few days before the much-awaited Punjab elections scheduled on February 20. Khali—who stands over seven feet tall—is famous for being the first Indian professional wrestler to sign a contract with the WWE franchise. Apart from wrestling, Khali has acted in a few movies and served in the Punjab Police.
Khali will inspire India's youth: Union Minister
With his strong stature and views, Khali will seek to strengthen the BJP, said Union Minister Jitendra Singh while welcoming him into the party. "The Great Khali will remain a source of inspiration for the youth in the country," he said. Singh further expressed gratitude towards the former wrestler for supporting PM Modi's journey to take India forward.
'Khali has made India proud'
Apart from Singh, Rajya Sabha MP Arun Singh and Lok Sabha MP Sunita Duggal were also present to welcome Khali into the BJP's ranks. The event was held at the party's headquarters in Delhi. MP Singh referred to Khali's achievements as a wrestler adding, "The son of a farmer, who also served as an officer in Punjab Police, Khali has made the country proud."
Khali supported farmers' protest in 2020
In 2020, Khali had backed the farmers revolting against the central government's contentious farm laws. The farmers had claimed that the laws will leave farmers at the mercy of private players. At the time, Khali had said, "They will buy (the produce) for Rs. 2 and sell it for Rs. 200," adding that the laws will harm daily wagers, vendors, and the common man.
A peek into Khali's wrestling career
Born on August 27, 1972, Khali had made his professional wrestling debut as a 28-year-old in 2000. In July 2007, Khali became the WWE World Heavyweight Champion and held the title for 61 days. Khali made his final appearance in WWE in 2018, and in 2021, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.